By Robin Carr, LCI
You may have noticed that the “calendar” section in your neighborhood newspaper, online newsletter or event site is starting to populate with things to do. After a year and a half of (mostly) virtual events, many places around the world are offering in-person events, from concerts to lectures to wine fests and sports. Even CES is joining in, with registration now open for the annual January show in Las Vegas.
What about promoting events for your company or client? Before you begin publicizing an event, you need to align marketing, sales and PR goals. Are you hoping to drive brand/company awareness? Secure a specific number of registrations and attendees?
There are many tactics to utilize – as Landis Communications did with its client, Velodyne Lidar, and the World Safety Summit on Autonomous Technology in 2019. This free-to-the-public event was designed to create broad brand awareness and educate consumers about safety through interactive demonstrations, displays and lively presentations.
Here are three suggested paths to reach your event goals:
1. Content creation.
To reach a large, diverse audience of attendees and promote the event and its safety messaging, LCI and Velodyne created content for various channels, including the company website and messages for all social media channels (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook). As speakers and panels were confirmed, we distributed press releases to national, international and trade media. For additional pre-event news, we created and pitched two pre-Safety Summit announcements:
- An “event preview” with news about the first American demo of an autonomous street sweeper.
- A survey summary concluding that research is critical and that driver assistance programs can save lives.
2. Video promotion.
LCI developed two innovative videos to promote the Safety Summit on the Velodyne website and distributed them to key press:
- “The Crash Test Genius” (not “The Crash Test Dummy”), featuring a fictional character, Lidar Larry. Larry never gets in crashes because he only tests autonomous vehicles.
- The “History of Auto Safety” recounts all of the features developed over the years and the promise of autonomy in our future.
3. Calendar listings.
We produced an advisory with “Who,” “What,” “Where,” “When” and “Why,” with the cost of the Safety Summit (it was free), and we posted it to online calendars and also sent it to traditional regional (San Francisco Bay Area) and community media.
The pre-event media exposure attracted 25 media outlets, 750 attendees and more than three dozen exhibitors that included live autonomous vehicle demos. National and local media in attendance were from CNBC, CNET Roadshow, PBS Newshour, Mashable, Forbes and local TV stations, generating more than 120 editorial feature/news articles.
Articles related to special events:
How to Create Special Events People Will Love Entrepreneur.com
4 examples of successful virtual events in 2020—and what made them work Agility PR Solutions
How to Plan a Successful Large-Scale Event, No Stress SocialTables.com